Here's a First: I'm Reading in Denver at The Art of Storytelling Series

The Art of Storytelling Reading Series, hosted by Steven Dunn and Ahja Fox

The Art of Storytelling Reading Series, hosted by Steven Dunn and Ahja Fox

So here’s some exciting news: I’ll be a featured reader in an upcoming reading series!

The Art of Storytelling is a reading series based out of Prodigy Coffeehouse in Denver’s Elyria Swansea neighborhood. This is a great business to support for its work in supporting local youth to build professional skills and social capital. Essentially project-based learning (yay!) meant to generate wealth in the local community (yay!!).

I learned of this series from one of its founders and hosts, Steven Dunn, who also briefed me on what a reading series even was. This kind of event was one of the many facets of the writing world that seemed to be common knowledge I lacked, perhaps a result of being detached from communities for a decade plus. Thankfully, Steven has been generous over the last year in introducing me to many aspects of the writing world. In this sometimes intimidating world of thinkers and communicators, I appreciate anyone who supports those attempting to learn the ropes.

It was a thrill to receive and accept the invitation to read in this series for many reasons:

  • This is my first public reading outside of my graduate program.

  • This is my first opportunity within Denver to take active part in its writing community.

  • This is a series I respect for its mission:

Denver has a diverse writing community. Diverse in people. Diverse in poetry and fiction and all the wondrous in-between. So we want to celebrate that diversity by creating a space that connects writers, readers, and listeners from varying communities. And of course, this is a place to play, practice, and be supportive. A place to celebrate something we really give a damn about: People and Writing.

I chose Denver very deliberately when leaving nomadic life, partly due to its creative culture. There were many writers/artists and organizations that supported both (such as Lighthouse, Denver Art Society, etc.). Not only this but Denver harbored a diversity of people and perspectives that I wanted to exist within, much like I had for the last ten years abroad. Unfortunately, it still seems easy to exist in Denver and isolate oneself from that diversity, but The Art of Storytelling exists to celebrate that diversity and give a platform for all those voices and perspectives. I’m grateful to be included.

The tangerine sky after the cyclone, Fiji Dec 2009

The tangerine sky after the cyclone, Fiji Dec 2009

I will be reading from my manuscript a passage I have yet to share publicly. It’s a scene that takes place during the cyclone we experienced in Fiji, and I think this reading will represent the new direction I’m heading in for the book. In comparison, my previous writing about Fiji will seem diary-like: what happened to me and the unprocessed feelings it sparked. I’m thankful to have reached a new level in this narrative that incorporates much deeper, universal themes that will hopefully get everyone evaluating their own travels and cross-cultural interactions as I do so openly with mine.

If you’re in the Denver area, I hope you consider coming to The Art of Storytelling reading series, especially on May 25th at 3pm at the Prodigy Coffeehouse. See you there!